2021 has often been referred to as the year of ‘The Great Resignation’, when workers around the UK left their jobs in record numbers. And fewer sectors felt this more than health and social care.

It’s time to turn the tide and make 2022 the ‘Year of Retention’.

Here, Kirsty Simmonds, Adult Health & Social Care Lead at Connect2Care looks at why investing in training is an ideal place to start when it comes to attracting and retaining staff.

Embracing new priorities

Our lives in the UK generally seem to be getting ‘back on track’ following nearly two years of isolation, worry and uncertainty. And while many people have welcomed the freedom that comes with living alongside Covid-19 (rather than restraining it), busier schedules can often lead to a heavier mental load, especially for those working in the care sector. But it’s equally important to safeguard new recruits entering the industry as it is to support workers who may be dealing with residual trauma from working on the frontline during lockdown.

Periods of significant stress have resulted in a cultural shift, as workers reflect on what work really means to them and how it fits into their life. And while the care sector offers highly rewarding job opportunities, there’s a growing recognition of how important it is for employees to feel valued and recognised in their roles.

As a sector hit by crippling staff shortages, it’s more vital than ever for managers to invest in their teams – retaining the talented individuals they have, while also offering clear career pathways that are attractive to people new to care.

A big part of this is the provision of training, both for those new to the sector and to help existing employees to upskill and reskill. Not only will this investment go a long way to fostering job satisfaction and loyalty, it will also reap rewards in the greater efficiency created by improving the skills of your workforce.

Apprenticeships are one of the best ways for organisations to provide continual learning for their teams, whether to progress existing staff or to quickly train new starters.

Tackling misconceptions

While there’s been a growing awareness of the opportunities offered through apprenticeships, a number of prevailing myths are potentially preventing both employers and individuals from considering them as an option.

For example, it’s often perceived that apprenticeships are primarily an option for school leavers, but there’s no age limit. Apprenticeships are an ideal way for people at any stage in their working lives to reskill or to build on their existing skills – whether they’re new to care or want to progress further in the sector.

From Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) to Levels 6 and 7 (bachelor or master’s degree equivalent), apprenticeships are available across all sectors and skills.

As more and more people of all ages – and with various levels of experience – are starting to see the opportunities available through apprenticeships, change is on the horizon. And with greater flexibility in how apprenticeships are delivered, care managers will have more options in how they attract newcomers to the sector, as well as supporting their existing employees to grow and develop in their roles.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about how apprenticeships could help your organisation.